There have been numerous studies on job stress and mental health of correctional officers. Most of them, however, focused on specific symptoms or simple relations between various stressors and mental health. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the mechanism of the relationship between job characteristics and burnout among correctional officers by integrating basic psychological needs satisfaction into the job-demands resources model. The results, using a representative sample of 3005 correctional officers, indicate that job demands directly influenced burnout, while job resources indirectly influenced burnout via basic psychological needs. These findings suggest that the fulfillment of basic psychological needs plays a pivotal role in preventing burnout among correctional officers. The current study offers several suggestions on how to apply these findings in prison organizations (download article).